Sunday, January 18, 2015

Just another night in China...

Last night was pretty crazy.

I don't write this to complain or say "oh we have it so hard!" - plenty of other people have it hard enough! There are challenges to getting sleep wherever you are, especially if you're a parent. But, sometimes being in a foreign country does add to it...

We got to bed a little later, due to a co-worker of Ryan's inviting us over for supper that ended up taking longer than we thought. But, it was fun to meet some of the great people he works with, and enjoy some delicious dumplings.

So we got home, put the snuggle bug to bed, ate (we had to leave early before all the food was done for Hadassah's sake, so leftovers came in handy!), I tackled the dishes while Ryan worked on learning a Chinese rap song his company asked him to do a part of for their annual dinner (yeah, my husband's amazing like that!), and then we turned on the electric blanket as we got ready for bed. That thing is the best invention ever. I never got the point of them before; I was always warm under the covers, so why have heat going through your blanket? I know now: it's all for the initial plunge. It used to be so so icy under the sheets that we'd dread getting in bed and then shiver for the first five minutes once we did... now, getting in bed is something to look forward to, as the sheets are warmed by the blanket. We turn it off soon after getting in bed, and usually settle in for a great night's sleep.

The first disturbance happened at 2:15 AM. We heard our American cell phone ringing. Yes, thanks to Republic Wireless, we have a cell phone with a US number that works via the internet, allowing family and friends to call and text us from back home. It also comes in handy when we need to call our bank or airlines or answer questions about a US order, though that sometimes disturb sleep, as business hours in America are sleeping hours here. We jumped out of bed and made it to the phone just as the call ended. It was one of our parents. To add to it, we saw the previous hour we'd missed a call from a number with our other parents' area code. Uh oh. Were they trying to get a hold of us? Had one of them suffered a heart attack or gotten some bad news? Your mind doesn't work logically at 2 AM, and it's easy to imagine the worst when surrounded by darkness. It took two tries, but we finally got a hold of the parent who called, only to find out their cell phone had dialed us by mistake. We weren't upset, just relieved that there wasn't any emergency. We had a laugh when we listened to the voice mail from the other number to discover it was someone looking for a "John and Mary" to talk to them about their pet. Oh yeah - reminds me I should probably call her back and tell her she has the wrong number. But maybe I should wait 'til it's day there. ;)

We went back to bed, and tried to settle back to sleep, trying not to the think about the alarm going off in 2 hours. I'd JUST gotten back to sleep in the middle of a weird dream about people breaking into our house (since we've been warned that there are more crimes here in China around this time leading up to the Chinese New Year) when cries pierced the night. Hadassah had thankfully adjusted to jet lag and slept through again a few nights ago, but this time her waking seemed to be caused by teething pains. As I stumbled out to attend to her, Ryan asked, "what's that smell?"

Coming back after she was settled down, Ryan was trying to figured out the source of a burning or gas smell in our bedroom. It thankfully wasn't strong in any other parts of the house, but it was almost unbearable in our bedroom. We discovered it was definitely coming from outside, but didn't see any fire or anything abnormal looking. Earlier that day we'd noticed our curtain blowing in the wind - with our window completely shut - confirming our suspicion that they weren't sealed well at all. Something to work on... We brought the BlueAir purifier back into our room, but that didn't help the smell much, so we moved on to the living room. Literally.

Oh, but first Ryan took a trip outside. Realizing if it WAS a fire, and was in our building, we'd have no way to know, and couldn't see up above us from our windows. The lack of smoke detectors or any alarm system in the apartment is a bit disconcerting. We'd already checked our gas to make sure it wasn't leaking, and a man had come by on Friday to do a test for leaks as a precaution, so that made us feel better. Ryan looked around but couldn't see anything abnormal... By morning the smell was gone from outside, so who knows what it was. Maybe a factory was burning plastic or something...

The living room rug is more comfortable than you'd think. We turned off our alarm, knowing we needed sleep to start another busy week of work. So, though it took a while, the next thing I knew was waking up at 7 AM. My back ached, but it's good to know that in weird situations, I can still sleep on the floor.

So, there's another one for the books. You never know what will happen when you live overseas. 

1 comment:

  1. Oh the adventures! We had plenty of them in our house in Arkansas- we had the drafty windows and odd smells, too! Our house did get broken into once...had a hard time sleeping at night for a while. I think everyone should right their memoirs- real life is much more interesting than Hollywood manufactured ones! Love you all! Michele